The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern are delighted by recent reports which have linked their club with a move for one of Europe’s most sought-after wonderkids, namely Matthijs de Ligt.
Although Pep Guardiola managed to bring Aymeric Laporte to the club during the January transfer window in a record breaking deal, it seems that he is not totally satisfied with his array of defensive options just yet. According to reports in The Guardian, Guardiola has identified de Ligt – the latest talent to emerge from Ajax’s globally-renowned academy system – as a potential long-term replacement for Vincent Kompany.
On the evidence of his development in Holland so far, it’s easy to understand why Guardiola is a natural admirer of his talents. The 18-year-old (valued at £22.5 million by Transfermarkt) possesses a commanding physique and the necessary technical attributes that are needed to slot into Guardiola’s demanding philosophy, and with 5 caps for the Dutch national side already to his name there’s no doubting that he is destined to reach great heights in the game.
His development has provoked interest from across Europe, so City will have to make their offer stand out to fend off competition from rival bidders, and one way in which they could achieve that is by offering Oleksandr Zinchenko as part of the deal. Zinchenko has been in excellent form for the Citizens this season whilst deputising as a left-back, despite the fact he is an attacking midfielder by trade.
Considering Guardiola has the likes of David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling to chose from in attacking midfield positions – to name a few – Zinchenko’s chances of forcing his way into the starting eleven in the long-term future seem slim at best. With that in mind, the Ukrainian international should be open to the prospect of a transfer away from the club, especially to the Dutch Eredivisie where he previously enjoyed a successful loan spell with PSV Eindhoven in the 2016/17 season.
At 21-years-of-age, Zinchenko also fits the Ajax model which holds the development of youth at the centre of its philosophy, so the Dutch giants should be enticed by the idea of welcoming him to the club. Completing a deal for de Ligt will undoubtedly prove to be a tough task for Guardiola to complete this summer, but using Zinchenko in a part-exchange swap deal could be the difference between success and failure in his pursuit of Ajax’s rising star.
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